Preparing your home for sale is a large and time-consuming project that starts long before you put the sign in the yard. And winter is a great time to start preparing your home for a springtime listing. But not all improvements provide a return on your investment, so it’s wise to check with an agent before you start knocking down walls or painting your foyer a fun color. The following projects are effective ways to get your home showing ready for the spring without spending money that you won’t get back in the sale:
Catch up on Maintenance ~ It’s not as much fun as renovating the kitchen or bathroom. But rotting wood around your windows or a roof that is visibly showing wear will not only lower offers, it may scare buyers away. If there is deferred maintenance that they can see, they start to wonder what is wrong with the house that they can’t see.
- Inspect the exterior of your home for signs of rotting wood, flaking paint, cracked or broken windows, window seals that aren’t functioning properly (you’ll notice condensation collecting inside the windows), and deck boards or stair rails in bad repair. Repair and replace as needed. Pressure wash your driveway, walkways and siding. If your home needs to be painted, this is a good time to do it. Take care in choosing a neutral color that appeals to a wide audience of buyers.
- Trim back any overgrown branches or bushes. Freshen mulch in garden beds. When the weather warms up, use potted or freshly planted flowering plants to give a bright and cheerful feel to your home.
- Inspect interior floor and wall coverings for signs for wear and tear. Scuffed and banged up walls tend to become less noticeable to the homeowner over time, since we see them every day. But buyers will be looking with fresh eyes and a new coat of interior paint can give your home crisp and clean feel. Again, keep in mind that you are making your home desirable to the general public, so stick with popular colors. Check out Sherwin Williams color of the year palette for ideas. I highly recommend sticking with neutrals over the more bold tones, unless you are working with a designer.
Make your home beautiful ~ Once the maintenance is out of the way, the fun part of preparing your home for sale begins. You want to make sure buyers can see how lovely your home is. If your home has too much stuff, they won’t be able to visualize themselves living in the home. Let’s face it, we all have too much stuff. And you can save yourself quite a bit of money in moving expenses by getting rid of it before you move. I have found quite a bit of freedom in Marie Kondo’s mantra, “Discard anything that doesn’t spark joy.”
- Declutter, declutter, declutter. And when you think you have gotten it all declutter some more! The longer you’ve lived in your home, the more stuff tends to pile up. If you are overwhelmed, try this tutorial with short daily projects to help you declutter your home in 15 minutes a day.
- After decluttering, you can start the deep cleaning. This handy checklist will keep you on task and make sure you don’t miss anything.
- Once these activities are completed, your agent can help with staging and decor to make your home look like a showplace. You’ll be well on your way to a successful sale.
With these easy tips, preparing your home for sale doesn’t have to be an overwhelming project. Take it one day at a time and when spring gets here, you’ll be all ready!
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